Forced digitization

If you are reading this, you are probably couped up in your home, apartment or wherever you have been forced to settle for the next couple of days, weeks and possibly months.

Local stores have run out of toilet paper, rice, and other ‘essential’ supplies but what is also flying off shelves are technological (hardware) devices like laptops, printers, webcams, and modems. Let’s not mention the millions of software and apps that are downloading every second.

Retailers are also running out of printer paper because some people are still hooked on paper despite the great invention of emails and digital signing which can be done via PDFs.

State of play

Pic courtesy of Pixabay

The term ‘home office‘ is no more a privilege for those people in senior management or for entrepreneurs – we all have to do it now.

The coronavirus has shifted the way we integrate digitally – more people are learning how to use video-conferencing and collaboration tools.

The burning question is this: how long can businesses afford to pay people to babysit their kids, watch funny cat videos, binge on Netflix, or have meaningless conferences on Zoom and MSTeams?

One can only imagine the frustration people are going through to set up their home offices: installing/using software and the correct drivers for their devices.

Earn Crypto while you surf!

Let’s be frank, nowadays, no ‘IT guy or gal’ in their right mind would risk, or be willing to pay house calls to help with these installations. You will, therefore, need to familiarise yourself with finding the right remote tech support or by watching Youtube videos to guide you along. Most cloud providers like Google have an online help site. Microsoft also has a great support site to help with basic office set up.

There are many of you, on the other hand, who have some working knowledge of computers but just need the right tools to facilitate your home working experience.

Broadband needs

So first things first – you need the Internet!

Without this, you might as well go outside and risk infection. Or better, get hauled to prison for breaking national isolation laws for a few months. You might even get better forms of entertainment in your local hospital or prison.

Back to the serious stuff…

Research has shown that a ‘standard’ broadband Internet connection has a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 3 Mbps. This serves as a baseline for determining fast and slow internet speeds.

Speeds much faster than that (100 Mbps and above) are therefore considered “fast” Internet.

Here’s how long it would take in hours, minutes and seconds to download a 4 GB file at various speeds.

1 Mbps10 Mbps25 Mbps50 Mbps100 Mbps200 Mbps400 Mbps1,000 Mbps

Upload speeds (generally offered at much slower speeds ) come into play with things like video-conferencing or uploading large files to a server/cloud. It is good to pay attention to those as well. As a guide, 5 Mbps and above are good upload speeds.

So based on the above, and what activities you perform online, you can now have an idea of which packages to go for if you need to upgrade or change your Internet Service Provider (ISP) altogether. If you are not sure what your current speed is, take a free speed test here.

For those living in Germany, there is a local speed test which is monitored by the government to ensure the ISPs adhere to speeds promised to clients.

Kitting up

Once that is sorted you can shop for a good PC, laptop, or other accessories – bearing in mind that performance depends on the specs of the machine you choose. This can include the quality of the network card built into your device that enables you to maximize the broadband package’s top speeds. For more advice on choosing the right device that you need for optimum performance, give us a shout.

Take a look at our resources page for a list of available software tools to help with communication and collaboration. Naturally, we all have our favourites so we will not advocate for one specifically.

Debunqed, however, does supply some of the best brands (with enhanced security features) so check out our online store.

Lastly, as tedious as it sounds, please ensure that you have adequate anti-virus, anti-hacking, malware, and anti-phishing (for emails) software. We cannot stress how many online scammers have become super active in this period. Some of them are even offering “help” fighting against the Coronavirus.

Other cyber-criminals offer desperate people who have lost their jobs a chance to work from home. It’s all the same, a word to the wise is enough. Be safe when it comes to self-isolation and hygiene – but also online!

Speak to us for a more detailed free consultation on how to best setup at home. At the global rate of the spread of the Coronavirus, this home office phase might be a thing for the rest of 2020.

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